Canada, England, Canada
By Sensei Denis Dixon – Shotokan Karate Lodge No.9752
It only seems like yesterday since my Karate journey began after relocating from Edmonton, Canada to England in 1999 and joining the Mid Herts Karate Club in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
The Mid Herts Karate Club was affiliated to the British Shotokan Karate Association (BSKA) and at the time the instructors were Ted Sanbridge, Sandan and Paul Sanbridge, Nidan and whilst at this club I attained the rank of 3rd kyu I was going places…
In 2001 I moved to Ipswich, Suffolk and joined the Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World, under the instruction of Sensei Lawrence Klein, this club was affiliated with the KUGB under Chief Instructor, Sensei Andy Sherry and Sensei Enoeda.
My 3rd kyu grading from Mid Herts Karate Club was transferred to the KUGB and thereafter graded for 2nd and 1st kyu.
After Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda 8th dan untimely death in 2003, there was a split between the KUGB and the JKA. Sensei Klein opted to have the club affiliated with JKA England.
Shortly after Sensei Enoeda’s death he was posthumously awarded by JKA the rank of 9th dan.
Graded in the UK under JKA affiliation for Shodan. I was awarded a pass in the Kihon, and Kumite sections of my grading but was unsuccessful in the Kata portion and was required to complete in a future grading.
Sensei Klein was invited by JKA France to Survilliers, just North of Paris France for a course and grading by Sensei Ochi.
In October 2004 I retook the Kata portion of my Shodan grading. Both Sensei Klein and I were successful in attaining a pass for our respective gradings Sandan and my hard earned Shodan.
Sensei Klein and JKA England under Sensei Ohta had a disagreement and Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World was asked to leave JKA England.
During 2005 the Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World was again affiliated with the KUGB this time under Chief Instructor Andy Sherry.
The year 2007 was big step in my Karate career as I completed my instructor’s qualification under the KUGB and become more involved in teaching the classes at Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World and assisted Sensei Klein on kyu gradings.
2008 saw CSKLW became affiliated with the English Karate Federation (EKF) as the CESKA organisation. Sensei Michael Billman a founder Member of the Shotokan Karate Lodge L9752 was 7th Dan and Vice Chairman of the EKF become the chief grading examiner for Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World. My Nidan grade in 2009 was under the EKF and Sensei Billman.
Unfortunately, due to personal difficulties, Sensei Klein handed over the operation of Colchester Shotokan karate Leisure World to the Senior club students and leaves the UK to settle in Asia.
Having achieved the rank of Nidan and the most senior of Sensei Klein’s students, I accept the responsibility of chief instructor and ensure that the club which has been open to students for over 15 years in the Colchester area, continue to offer students the chance to train in traditional Shotokan karate.
During 2012 Colchester Shotokan Karate Club became affiliated with International Karate Daigaku, IKD.
The Senior IKD instructors are invited to further develop senior instructors and encourage the rising students to take more active role in their development.
Attended IKD senior’s instructors’ course with a club senior student in Barbados.
In September 2012 I successfully graded for Sandan under IKD Chief Instructor Sensei David Clarke, Worshipful Master of the Shotokan Karate Lodge 2019 – 2021.
Sensei W. Bro Maj. David Clarke CVO has continued to support Colchester Shotokan Karate Club from his frequent visits to the club throughout the years as chief instructor and IKD President.
After over 10 years of training and friendships at the Colchester Shotokan Karate Club, in 2013 I accepted a job offer and returned to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
My masonic journey began with my meeting in London with an old school friend, W. Bro David Clarke, on one of his many trips to the Capital.
David and I have been friends since our first day at high school in Barbados and when he suggested I would enjoy similar ethos as Karate in Freemasonry David proposed joining the Shotokan Karate Lodge, there was little deliberation needed on my part.
The invitation to join the Lodge also came at a time when I was in an exciting and progressive stage of my karate journey and the prospect of meeting other Karateka’s in a different environment was enticing.
My initiation ceremony was on 14th October 2006, a memorable occasion for a Lodge initiate on the start of their masonic career. The Worshipful Master was W. Bro Bernard Coppen a Founder of the Lodge sadly now passed to the Grand lodge above. In preparation for the initiation, I was assigned a mentor in the Lodge and attended Lodge of Instruction (LOI) meetings to get me ready for my important first occasion. I came to know many of the Lodge members and shared in their Karate kinship and fraternal friendship as well.
Some of the Shotokan Karate Lodge Brethren were generous with their time and were guest instructors at my Colchester Shotokan Karate Club on several occasions. They were well received by all members of the club and benefited tremendously.
As my Masonic journey continued, I was Passed on 13th October 2007 and Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on 11th October 2008 by W. Bro Michael Dinsdale 9th Dan and Founder Member of The Shotokan Karate Lodge.
After being Raised I became very active in the Lodge, delivering the Working Tools to other initiates and holding different offices of progression. I began at Inner Guard (IG) and advanced to Junior Warden (JW) before returning to Canada.
It’s my intention to renew my Lodge involvement and continue to advance in the offices.
I was also Exalted into Old Concord Chapter No. 172 on 13th October 2010 but that journey was put on hold after returning to Canada.